Posts Tagged '#LondonMarathon'

#ReasontoRun

This year, the Virgin Money London Marathon has a very special theme. We are asking people to think about their #ReasontoRun. Hugh Brasher, the race director, explained;

We know every single runner has a unique #ReasonToRun the world’s greatest marathon. Whether it’s to set a PB, to raise money for a cause, to remember a loved one, to break a Guinness World Record, to win, to remain an Ever Present, to qualify for Great Britain or just because it’s always been a dream to run the London Marathon – the reasons are endless and we would love to hear them.”

We decided to ask some of our fundraisers to share their reasons for taking part in this amazing event. You can click on each fundraiser’s name to find out more.

Heidi fundraising for Tommy’s in memory of her son, James.

“My #ReasontoRun is my baby James and all the steps he will never take and to raise funds for Tommy’s so they can help future babies find their feet rather than their wings.”

Jonathan is fundraising for North London Hospice and Chai Cancer Care following his own battle with cancer.

“My #ReasonToRun is that following my battle with Testicular Cancer and chemotherapy, I will continue to run with fight and determination for those who can’t, whilst fundraising along the way.”

Michael is fundraising for Brain Research Trust after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumour.

“Being happy to be alive and urging for more progress with brain research is my #ReasontoRun”

Nick is fundraising for Macmillan and Treetops Hospice Care.

“It’s easy to just exist when you live with long-term conditions, so my #ReasonToRun is to live, not simply exist, with persistent pain and fatigue.”

John is fundraising for Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland following the sudden death of his best friend.

“My #ReasontoRun is that following a serious illness, running gave me a new lease of life – it’s great”

Peter is fundraising for The Sepsis Trust in memory of his mum.

“My #ReasontoRun is to help prevent more needless lives being taken from Sepsis so my mums life will not have been in vain”

#fundraiserfriday: From intensive care to the London Marathon

In 2012, Paul suffered a frontal lobe hemorrhage following an unprovoked attack. He will be running the London Marathon in 2017 to raise awareness of brain injury, inspire others and show that after a brain injury, you can still go on and achieve great things!

Paul’s journey

Taking part in this event marks a huge milestone in Paul’s own personal journey, as at the time of the race 5 years ago, he was in intensive care. Back then he never dreamt he would be taking part in the London Marathon!

Paul stated “Nothing could prepare my family and I for the battle of brain recovery. It is a long and challenging journey, which will test every aspect of your life. I know from personal experience that people are left lost, lonely, confused and vulnerable after brain injury. The injury can come with devastating consequences and be life changing for everyone affected. For those reasons, there needs to be somewhere to go, a lifeline, a place to obtain comfort, support, education and inspiration. That’s why I set up the charity PAUL For Brain Recovery.”

The charity

All funds raised by Paul as a result of taking part in the London Marathon will go to PAUL For Brain Recovery. During his own recovery, Paul realised that there was a real lack of community support after being discharged from acute services. Because of this, he founded PAUL For Brain Recovery, which exists to make life easier after brain injury by providing advice and support to empower all affected.

He added “I have walked the difficult path of brain recovery and feel very lucky to have recovered well. It is now my passion to help others that are on the line of despair. That’s why it’s such an honour to be representing the brain injured in this year’s London Marathon.”

How you can help

To keep him going during the marathon, Paul will be thinking of all of the people that the charity is able to help.  A great motivation for him is the positive effect that his efforts will have on those facing a difficult time in their lives. Paul will also draw on his own personal experiences; during the dark days of his recovery, he never thought he would be in a position to be such a positive influence to so many people.

Help support Paul’s amazing journey by donating to his Virgin Money Giving page.

Be your charity’s hero

“My #ReasonToRun is that following my battle with Testicular Cancer and chemotherapy, I will continue to run with fight and determination for those who can’t, whilst fundraising along the way.”

Putting your charity front and centre of everything you do, really helps to drive your fundraising and get your supporters to really understand why it matters.

We caught up with Jonathan and his wife Lauren, who have run 12 Marathons each and raised over £54,000 from seven of them. Whilst it takes dedication to raise this much, everything they did is simple and easy to apply to your own fundraising.

Know what drives you

Jonathan starts by saying it’s incredibly important to know “why you’re doing it”. He adds “If you’re not running because you have a personal connection to your charity, you have to know your drive for doing it. And your supporters have to understand why you’re doing it too. There are all kinds of stories, you just have to find yours.”

Embrace your charity

What makes the real difference for Jonathan is he is personally connected to all his charities. Jonathan has had cancer, has been personally treated by Chai Cancer Care and has come out the other side. His mum Valerie was also a volunteer for Chai Cancer Care, and North London Hospice enabled her to pass from her own cancer with dignity and in peace. “You need to know exactly what your charity does, and why it really matters to you.”

Share your vision

Knowing what he was fundraising for and having a goal in mind really helped Jonathan. Whilst his mum was alive, he had a target of £50,000 for his charities. He’s now surpassed that and is hoping to raise £1000 for every year of his life – only £4000 to go to hit his target this year! Plus, Jonathan says, “having someone to support and help you keep going is a real game-changer; running without my wife would just not have been the same.”

Make a personal connection

Jonathan is happy to nudge people. He gets most of his donations simply by emailing people personally. If it’s addressed to them, they’re more likely to take notice. He’s taken the time to build a relationship with his supporters, and sends over 500 emails for each Marathon.

Make your charity visible

Just by wearing his charity vest on his training runs, he’s been able to meet new people he wouldn’t have normally and get new donations. It helps that his charities are both local, and people recognise his vest and start talking to him. Also by talking about his fundraising in his day to day life, he’s been able to get donations even from acquaintances. People just need to know about it.

Keep your supporters involved

Jonathan isn’t afraid to follow up with the people he’s asked to donate to his page, particularly to those who have expressed an interest, but have forgotten or haven’t gotten round to it. He also makes sure to go back and thank people for their donations, and let them know how he’s getting on.

Ask first to get generous donations

Starting early in December really made a difference to Jonathan. This way when he’s asked people for donations, they’re likely to give more generously to his page. He says “If you leave it later, people often give less as they’ve already donated to other fundraisers.”

Don’t ever give up

Jonathan shared the fact that he’s run the New York Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, the Berlin Marathon and it’s his sixth Virgin Money London Marathon. He tells us that his determination really came out for New York. He had intensive chemotherapy for 3 months, and only had 8 weeks to train for the Marathon. He said at the time:

“One last thing, I can’t promise I will start the 2015 New York Marathon. I can’t even promise that if I start the 2015 New York Marathon, I will finish it……But one thing I promise you, I WILL TRY TRY TRY”

With the help of friends and family, he raised a staggering £12,000 in just five days.

Have you gone the extra mile to inspire more people to donate? Share how you did it with others @VMGiving or on Facebook

Win a £1000 donation with #MadeToMove and Lucozade

Our friends at Lucozade Sport have recently launched their #MadeToMove social campaign which gives London Marathon runners the chance to win £1000 for their chosen charity by getting 10 of their friends to run 1 mile each and post a selfie on Instagram. Come and join the new way of fundraising!

Over the competition there are 3 separate prize draws!

How do marathon runners get involved?

  • Take to Instagram and post something like this:
    “As you all know I am running the Virgin Money London Marathon and I need your help! Run/walk/jog a mile for me and upload a sweaty selfie and I could win £1000 for my charity courtesy of Lucozade Sport. Make sure to use the hashtag #MadeToMove”
  • Don’t forget to remind your friends to tag you and @ you on Instagram otherwise it won’t count!
  • Once 10 of your friends have run 1 mile and tagged you on Instagram, you will be in the running to win £1000 for your chosen charity. Look out for a direct message in your Instagram inbox!

For more information, check out the Lucozade Sport Instagram account or the website.

#fundraiserfriday: My mum will be cheering me on in spirit and in mind

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“My #ReasontoRun is to help prevent more needless lives being taken from Sepsis so my mums life will not have been in vain”

In under three months, tens of thousands of people will take to the streets of London for the biggest single day annual fundraising event in the world; the Virgin Money London Marathon. One of those people will be Peter Izard who is taking on the challenge in memory of his mother who died at the age of 50 from Sepsis.

The charity

Peter tells us that his mother died “far too young” at the age of 50. He adds

“She lead such a fulfilling life and ensured she lived it to the full. I was only 22-years-old when she passed and always wanted to ensure her memory lived on for my siblings and her future grandchildren, who she never had the chance to see.”

Over 44,000 people die from Sepsis yearly and many of those deaths are entirely preventable. The charity Peter is fundraising for, The Sepsis Trust, aims to train medical professions in spotting the signs early and thus delivering the necessary medical care to save lives.

The challenge

Peter chose the Virgin Money London Marathon for this challenge after completing the event last year and deciding to really push himself again, lowering his time while also enjoying the atmosphere on the day. He adds

“Few runners can say they have run consecutive London Marathons and I want to experience the day knowing what to expect with the benefit knowing what lies ahead”

Despite the freezing weather, Peter tells us that his training is going to plan after overcoming a tight hamstring and some blisters. Not content with the one long run, he has booked himself on two half marathons on the run up.

When asked what will keep him going during the training and the run itself, Peter says he often thinks of his Mum, the good times they had “and her wonderful personality“.

“Her belief in me as a son and her support to back me in whatever choice in life I made [will keep me going]. I know she is looking down on me now, cheering me on all the way and she will be with me on day in spirit and in mind”

How you can help

You can support Peter’s fundraising for The Sepsis Trust by donating to his fundraising page.

10 Virgin Money London Marathon places competition winners

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In October of this year, we launched a competition to give away 10 places to run the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon and we are delighted today to announce the ten winners who will be storming up the Mall on the 23rd April.

A huge congratulations to:

Karen Slater
Tiago Cleto Machado
Emily Cox
Claire Wragg
Tracey Roberts
Steven Brown
Paul Brewer
Angela Parry
Karen Unger
Alannah Rohan-Wild

Don’t forget, if you’re running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon you could win one of 600 cases of wine and an exclusive VIP upgrade including accommodation and entry to an after party simply by setting up your London Marathon Virgin Money Giving page and getting a donation!

#fundraiserfriday: From finding out I was expecting a baby to saying goodbye to my inspirational little lady

henrietta

In the short space of 18 months, Victoria Guthrie went from the elation of finding out she was expecting a new baby to saying goodbye her ‘inspirational little lady’. Victoria and Henrietta share today’s #fundraiserfriday star.

Henrietta’s story

After a normal pregnancy, baby Henrietta surprised everyone with her quick entry to the world, which revealed that she had Noonan syndrome and an extensive list of life limiting conditions. These included JMML which is a form of Leukaemia, Tetralogy of Fallot and bi-ventricular hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, characterised as the thickening of both sides of her heart muscle. Henrietta was unable to feed naturally which meant that although Victoria and Henrietta were able to have 9 months of ‘big girl sleepovers’ at a children’s hospital, 7 months of which were in an intensive care unit, Henrietta never got the chance to go home with her devoted family.

Cardiomyopathy UK

During her time with Henrietta in hospital, Victoria saw a lot of incredible charities doing amazing things for the seriously sick children around her but noticed that there were fewer donations given to cardiac babies like Henrietta. Due to the devastating news that Henrietta’s prognosis was a life expectancy of less than 12 months, Victoria felt it was vital that Henrietta experience as much as she could within the hospital walls and that “seeing some children receive virtually nothing, particularly on Christmas day in ICU” is an image she will carry with her forever. Victoria vowed then that she would find a way to help those living with cardiomyopathy and help people understand that heart conditions aren’t just found in the ageing or with poor lifestyles.henrietta-2

Taking on the London Marathon

As a way of coping with the death of her daughter, Victoria turned to running, inspired by her youngest daughter who had become fixated with Mo Farrah. During one longer run, Victoria decided that running the London Marathon would be a great way to honour her “little lady” and teach Henrietta’s siblings that good things can come out of tragedy. She adds “such an inspirational and aspirational event can challenge you personally whilst also allowing you to raise much needed funds for charities like Cardiomyopathy UK.

Victoria tells us that finding time to train can be very challenging at the best of times but with a young family of 4, Victoria’s training has been a full family effort. Rising as early as 4am, with any lie-ins being replaced with long runs and hill sessions.

Victoria’s motivation

If you ask Victoria what will keep her running, even in her bleakest moments, the answer is simple: love.

“All I want is people to feel supported and not to suffer alone, whether they are the patient or the family. We know first-hand that a diagnosis can rip your world apart. Everyone affected deserves the support of Cardiomyopathy UK – to know it’s always there for you. And with Cardiomyopathy affecting people of all ages and being the main cause of sudden death in young people under 35, its work is vitally needed.”

How you can help

You can support Victoria’s challenge in honour of Henrietta by donating to her Virgin Money Giving page. Every penny raised will help to make a huge difference:

  • £7 pays for a 10 minute call to a specialist helpline nurse,
  • £10 pays for 3 families who have a child with cardiomyopathy to get the right information,
  • £20 pays for 4 people to receive a ‘living with cardiomyopathy’ pack,
  • £60 pays for 150 people newly diagnosed to get detailed information from the website,
  • £150 pays for a doctor or nurse to be trained at the annual conference.

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